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US ground forces join battles for eastern Mosul: army source

US forces in Iraq. File photo.
US forces in Iraq. File photo.

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) US forces have now joined Iraqi troops and voluntary militias in eastern Mosul in their offensives to retake the city from Islamic State militants, a military source has said.

US troops are now actively participating in the battles at the eastern regions of Mosul, and their commanders have ordered press workers to leave, UK-based Alquds newspaper reported, quoting an Iraqi army officer who spoke in a phone call.

“Coalition air forces bombed the bridges linking both sides of Mosul in an attempt to reduce the number of booby-trapped vehicles and to cut ISIS supply lines to the eastern section which is witnessing violent battles,” the newspaper quoted the officer as saying.

“US troops are now “fighting side by side with al-Hashd al-Shaabi at the eastern districts of Mosul. Seven hundred elements from al-Hashd had been prepared to flow on the city before the US troops in a bid for incursion inside new districts. However, those attempts failed due to resistance from ISIS,” said the officer.

He said the battles involving US troops are concentrated at the districts of al-Zahraa, al-Tahrir, al-Samah and al-Moharibin which Iraqi forces had failed to enter.

American commanders have warned their Iraqi counterparts that exaggeration in reporting battlefield victories could be “counter-productive”, according to the source.

US troops have also warned that they would adopt a “scorched earth” policy should attempts for incursion inside Mosul prove futile said the officer, who said that the current strategy involves flows of al-Hashed al-Shaabi backed by intensive airstrikes on the city’s streets and bridges.



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